You had to know it wouldn't take me long to run over and snatch up the HTC Rhyme — hey, I've been following the "lady phone" for months! Hit the break for my deep, womanly thoughts on the handset, its charm, and the new Sense interface.
Hardware-wise, I am completely digging the phone, save for the plum color coming to Verizon. (There's a champagne colored version heading to the UK and Asia, but it isn't coming stateside.) Frankly, I'm not sure why they couldn't have made this in black and white options as well. The plum version, as Nilay has said, looks like it was made for the Joker. The color aside, the phone feels a lot like an Incredible S, though it looks a lot thinner — the back is smooth and the rounded edges feel great in hand. As I said, the form factor here is great — it is just the polarizing color that doesn't make much sense to me. The Super LCD is, well, super. Viewing angles are superb, though a qHD resolution would make it near perfect.
So, how are those accessories? The charm is exactly what I had pictured in my head since the original scoop. From a cloth covered cord hangs a plastic cube that's slightly bigger than a die. When plugged into the Rhyme's 3.5mm headphone jack the purple cube lights up like a glowing tentacle when a call or new message (email or text) comes in. It's certainly an out-there accessory, but I can actually see it being quite useful -- I constantly lose my phone in my bag and use my headphones to fish it out. Sure, the charm is the standout addition, but the speaker dock deserves some mention -- it's extremely light and wrapped in a cloth-like material.
My biggest concern about this handset from the start was performance. "Hey, it's for women, it doesn't have to be fast!" However, the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 (MSM8655) CPU and 768MB of RAM pushes along the Sense 3.5-infused Gingerbread OS fairly well. Apps opened fast and the 3D carousel twirled around without any pauses. Speaking of the new Sense tweaks, beyond the slightly retooled homescreen not much has changed. There are now shortcuts along the left edge and you can expand them to see app-specific notifications. There are also some woman-friendly wallpapers and a new clock.
So that's my brief take on the Rhyme. I'll reserve my final judgement until I can spend some quality time with a review unit, but off the bat, I'm digging the phone and even the charm. Again, I wish Verizon would offer it in a different color to give it some cross-sex appeal, and you know, provide an option for those of us that don't want a phone that looks like, well, a lady phone.
Check out the pictures and video below!